Basic nutrition guidelines

Published 12:07 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

I’m often bombarded with questions from friends and family concerning nutrition. It can be a very complicated topic. There are so many theories in fitness and nutrition and many can be contradicting. I often get asked questions such as how many calories they should eat, what their macro-nutrient ratio should be or what advanced supplements they should be taking.

But all they really need to focus on are a few basic guidelines.

So many times during my first initial consultation with a new client I am told the following: I eat really well. My diet is fine. I make great food choices.

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Even though a client may come in 40 to 80 pounds overweight, feeling lethargic and low energy, they are still convinced nutrition is not their issue.

The reality is most people are not making good nutritional food choices and they have no idea what they are putting into their body.

Here are some basic nutritional guidelines.

Eat breakfast every day. It always amazes me how so many people skip breakfast. Studies show people who eat breakfast on a consistent basis are significantly leaner than those who skip breakfast. Breakfast limits the release of cortisol, a hormone that tells your body to store fat.

Don’t make it complicated. Many people express how they have no time for breakfast in the mornings. But you must make the effort. It only takes two minutes to whip up a bowl of oatmeal or blend a protein shake with a piece of fruit.

Eat every two to three hours. It is not a good idea to go for prolonged periods of time without eating. I recommend five or six meals per day. Doing this will keep blood glucose levels in check and provide improvements in overall metabolism. Even if you are not hungry and it has been three hours, eat something. A protein shake with a handful of mixed nuts would suffice.

Eat lean protein with every meal. Protein provides essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of lean muscle. Protein also takes longer to digest, which will give you a greater feeling of satiety and prevent hunger. Protein also has the greatest Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) as compared to carbohydrates and fats. This means more calories are being burned during digestion.

Eat vegetables with every meal. Various vegetables provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. These micro-nutrients are essential for the growth and development of living organs.

Food preparation is key. I continually tel my clients food preparation is key! I can’t express this enough. This should be your first priority. It takes time and discipline to prepare the food you should be eating, but it is essential you do this.

Cooking and preparing meals ahead of time will ensure you are eating the right foods and not eating for convenience.

Josh Miller is a personal trainer and owner of Transformation Personal Training. He has a BS in exercise science. He can be reached at (859) 744-7050 or